Members of the New York state Senate Democratic conference on Tuesday released a letter to federal regulators urging them to improve access to the abortion pill mifepristone.
The lawmakers in a letter released by state Sen. Shelley Mayer's office called for easing regulations in prescribing, dispensing and the distribution of the mifepristone.
The letter comes weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, which has led to state governments either expanding or restricting abortion laws as a result. New York lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul's administration have sought to strengthen the state's abortion laws as well as provide funding to organizations that provide abortion services ahead of an expected influx of women from states with stricter laws.
State lawmakers this summer also set in motion an amendment that is meant to eshrine broad equality rights in the state constitution.
The letter to Robert Califf, the commissioner of Food and Drugs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, pointed to the need to improve access to medical abortion pills.
“In New York state, we have taken strong steps to ensure we remain one of only several safe haven states for women seeking an abortion. We are concerned that, notwithstanding the safety and efficacy of mifepristone for use in medical abortions, the FDA’s current limitations on prescribers and planned restrictions on pharmacies place unwarranted limits on who can prescribe, dispense and obtain mifepristone,” Mayer said in a statement. “These limits are not acceptable given the safety and efficacy of this medication, the unique applicability of the medication for medical abortion, and the urgent need for action. As some of us have already requested prior to the Dobbs decision, we urge you to reexamine your current rules and move to immediately expand who may prescribe and dispense this medication.”
Opponents of abortion have urged state officials in New York to focus on family issues and providing support to them while opposing state money to expand abortion services in New York.